Toronto, ON, December 7, 2020 – The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA), which represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians across the province, is alarmed at the Ford government’s passing of Bill 213 which includes schedule 2 that gives the Canada Christian College, a private institution, university status and degree-granting privileges for Bachelor of Arts and Science degrees.
“The Ontario government has ignored and undermined the quality assessment process it said it would follow before conferring university status to Canada Christian College. The Ford government is putting its seal of approval on an institution that degrades the meaning and integrity of Bachelor of Arts and Science degrees,” said Rahul Sapra, President of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations. “Giving private institutions degree-awarding privileges undermines postsecondary education in Ontario as private institutions do not follow the rigorous standards of public postsecondary institutions, which ensure the accessibility and quality of the institutions and their educational programs.”
Charles McVety, the president of the college, openly displays deeply rooted Islamophobic, transphobic, and homophobic views. Mr. McVety has been embroiled in several controversies resulting from his discriminatory beliefs. These include multiples instances of homophobic and hateful comments, transphobic endeavours to remove gender identity from the sex education curriculum in Ontario schools, advocating for the teaching of creationism in Ontario schools, and hosting known Islamophobic figures and calling Islam a danger to Canadian society. Mr. McVety plays a central role in representing, running, and directing the college. It is alarming that his discriminatory and hateful views also inform the teaching and pedagogy at this private institution.
“The Ford government’s granting Canada Christian College university status and the ability to call its diplomas Bachelors of Arts and Science seriously harms students and misleads them about the quality of education and the value of the degrees it provides,” said David Seljak, Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at St. Jerome’s University- University of Waterloo. “Its instructors are not qualified; only a handful have graduate degrees from recognized universities and its curriculum is harmful and inadequate. As someone who has been involved in numerous university program reviews, I can state without qualification that the curriculum at Canada Christian College would not meet the minimum standards at any Ontario university.”
In 1983, the Ontario government took away degree-granting privileges from the Canada Christian College through the Degree Granting Act to restrict the ability of private institutions to offer bachelor’s degrees that were misleading or did not have the necessary credentials recognized by other institutions.
“Granting Canada Christian College university status and the ability to offer Bachelor of Arts and Science degrees sends Ontarians exactly the wrong message about education, religious diversity, and multiculturalism,” said David Seljak. “It tells the people of Ontario that it is perfectly acceptable to publicly promote extremist views that target minority populations.”
Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 professors and academic librarians in 30 faculty associations across Ontario. It is committed to enhancing the quality of higher education in Ontario and recognizing the outstanding contributions of its members towards creating a world-class university system. For more information, please visit the OCUFA website at www.ocufa.on.ca.
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Hind Eideh, OCUFA Policy Analyst at 416-306-6034 or firstname.lastname@example.org